There are 3 things I have found that when paid attention to, dramatically improve the parenting experience. They improve the effectiveness and the enjoyment of the whole experience.
1. Self Awareness: Coming to know yourself, your emotional state, and where you are most likely to get emotionally triggered will allow you to sidestep many power struggles. Instead of getting emotionally overwhelmed, this awareness empowers you to keep your cool and assume your role as a wise and conscious guiding force.
2. Seeing Children as People: Respecting my kids didn’t come easily to me, but they are their own people with their own thoughts and opinions. Their voices should be heard. Not everything they want is possible, but it doesn’t mean I can’t listen and empathize. The bonus is that when I started listening, they started listening to me more. Hearing kids out creates a secure environments of love and respect that goes both ways. Trust is the foundation for loving and constructive relationships.
3. Curiosity: Becoming interested in the behaviour and expressions of our children, will allow us to understand their needs. “Why is he really acting this way? ” When we are curious and genuinely concerned about needs, it allows us to adopt a solution focused mindset. Approaching our children from this angle of “How can I help” creates mutually beneficial outcomes and teaches great problem-solving skills.